As head of Thrivent Advisor Network (or TAN) since June, Carolyn Armitage’s wide experience in the wealth management industry is providing Thrivent’s new independent RIA with strategic guidance that will enable the next phase of its development.
Before joining TAN, Armitage served as managing director at investment bank and consulting firm Echelon Partners, starting in 2017.
Her experience has also included roles as an independent financial advisor, producing branch manager, and head of the large Enterprise Business Management Consulting team for LPL Financial from 2013 to 2016.
In addition to holding numerous FINRA licenses, she holds the certified financial planner and certified investment management analyst designations. She also founded and runs the 501(c)(3) nonprofit True Circle Organization, which provides immediate resources, sustenance and compassion to improve the lives of people who are experiencing homelessness throughout California.
Via email, we asked Armitage a series of questions that touched not only on her professional knowledge but also on what she does off the clock.
1. What market indicator, industry statistic, regulatory change or advisor trend are you watching most closely right now and why?
Carolyn Armitage: The accelerating pace of advisor succession needs is one that we’d like to help solve. It’s, quite frankly, embarrassing that an industry that provides fiduciary retirement and estate planning advice to clients doesn’t put on their own face mask first.
Our parent company, Thrivent, has a network of advisors across the country that can step up and in when needed for TAN to be the succession plan for advisors. We have a multiyear training program to continually fill the pipeline of advisors needed to transition businesses over the next decade and beyond.
2. How has it been changing recently (2021), and how do you expect it to change (2022)?
For an advisor to find the right succession solution for their clients, employees and themselves takes time. The pace of change and available solutions will likely increase, adding options and yet complexity of the decision-making process.
3. What would you suggest advisors do now or consider doing in the future about it?
As a fiduciary to their clients, it would be prudent for advisors to make a New Year’s resolution to document and execute a formal contingency and succession plan in 2022. The former for the unexpected “retirement” being disability or death, and the latter being for their planned retirement, or 2.0, as I call it.
4. Who or what critical source of information do you track, or follow online, to keep up with this or other trends?
As an avid reader, I get a feed of all media in the industry, ThinkAdvisor included, as well as industry influencers such as Bob Veres, Michael Kitces, among others.
5. Are you changing any of your work habits at this stage of the pandemic?